Episode 22: Using COVID-19 as an Opportunity for Transformation

Jim Dougherty, co-founder and executive chairman of of Madaket shares his perspective on the way COVID-19 is shaping the future of  business.

Even as COVID-19 is causing major losses for many healthcare systems, Jim Dougherty believes it’s also creating new opportunities.

As co-founder and executive chairman of Madaket Health, Dougherty is helping to decrease the time spent on administrative data exchanges between payers and providers. This helps providers save money while also getting paid sooner, two things that are more important than ever before. 

In part two of this two-part episode of How I Transformed This, Virsys12 founder and CEO Tammy Hawes and her co-host Clark Buckner talk with Dougherty about this advice for business owners and leaders as they navigate COVID-19. Dougherty also shares his vision for the future of healthcare beyond this crisis.

Prioritizing Efficiency

As health systems are facing enormous losses, Dougherty expects they’ll get more creative about saving money, and he’s confident that Madaket can help. 

Right now most big health systems are on fire. They’re just trying to get through the day, they’re not making any strategic decisions, and they’re spending a lot more money than they had planned,” he explained. 

Because of this, healthcare leaders will need to implement more efficient processes. 

“Things that used to be below the line in terms of priorities are now going to be above the line,” Daugherty predicted. “Because they can’t afford to overlook any opportunity to drive savings and improve revenue.”

For many systems, one of those new priorities may be finding a better way to share administrative information with payers. With Madaket, providers can save time and money, but also get paid faster.

The Importance of Disruption

Daugherty also encourages healthcare leaders to view this time as an opportunity to take new risks moving forward.

“We’re getting permission from this horrible virus to sort of suspend the way we did things previously, and then look completely objectively at how to do things better in the future. So I think we should take advantage of that,” he urged.

Madaket’s founders always hoped to create a “disruptive innovation” rather than an incremental one. Daugherty is confident they’ll succeed, because they’ve taken the time to do thorough market research to understand what health systems need. 

“Not one single investor, one single analyst, one single customer has said, ‘What you’re trying to do is not on target,’” he said. “If we’re successful, we’ll change the way this whole thing works completely, drive a huge amount of cost saving, huge amount of time saving, and drive these health systems and doctors to spend more time on improved healthcare.”

Why Culture Matters in Times of Crisis

In addition to stressing the importance of market research and encouraging leaders to take new risks, Daugherty also offered one more key piece of advice to entrepreneurs: “The most important business model an entrepreneur creates is their culture.”

In every business, he explained, culture can either develop organically or strategically. By taking the time early on to define what they wanted the Madaket culture to be, Daugherty and his co-founders created a strong foundation that the rest of the business could grow upon.

This is especially evident during crises like COVID-19. Because Madaket already valued flexibility, integrity and other important qualities, they were better suited to deal with the challenges the pandemic created, such as the shift to remote work.

“The key is to keep everybody’s eye on the ball, keep them focused and optimistic,” Daugherty advised. “And then be ready to reach out and be responsive to their needs for information, their needs to resolve their anxiety, and in some cases, confusion.”

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